Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, allowing this to be a great opportunity to learn more about this public health crisis and the resources available to survivors and those experiencing issues of power and control in Tillamook County. Tillamook Family Counseling Center would like to acknowledge our community partner, Tides of Change, by sharing some valuable information gathered during an interview with the Executive Director, Valerie Bundy. We have built our community partnership identifying and supporting families in Tillamook county who are impacted by domestic violence. Tides of Change is a local organization with a mission to provide hope, safety, and support to those impacted by gender based violence, and shift cultural norms through advocacy, education, and community collaboration. 


  • What is domestic violence?

Bundy, with Tides of Change, describes domestic violence as one person in a relationship uses a pattern of methods and tactics to gain and maintain power and control over a partner or other people in the household. The Power and Control Wheel found on the National Domestic Violence Hotline website describes this in more detail. 

Bundy explains that domestic violence looks different in rural communities than cities, and it can be harder for survivors to reach out for help when living in a small town because they are afraid of others knowing about their situation. However, Tides of Change is completely confidential and has advocate privilege meaning advocates are not mandatory reporters; survivors may be truly honest about their situation and get the help they need confidentially.


  • What services are provided at Tides of Change?

Tides of Change has a variety of services that may be accessed by survivors of domestic violence throughout Tillamook County. All services are free and confidential. There’s a misconception that only survivors ready to leave their abusive relationships may access resources from Tides of Change, however that is false. Tides of Change supports all survivors wherever they may be on their journey. People of all ages, races, gender identities, and languages may access services. Teenagers 14 and up may access without their parent/guardian. Services include advocacy, Pacific House Shelter, counseling, and support groups.

  1. Advocacy
    Advocates come alongside survivors to empower and support them where they are at. They help people understand their rights and protections and navigate complex systems. Advocates understand the complexities of domestic violence and traumas, and listen openly to a survivor’s story with compassion in order to provide options and resources that are specific to the individual’s unique situation. Every decision made when working with an advocate is survivor led. Survivors may anonymously connect with advocates via the online chat on the Tides of Change website, texting the number 503-852-9114, or by calling 503-842-9486. Advocates are not mandatory reporters and all contact is confidential
  2. Pacific House Shelter
    This confidential emergency shelter is available for survivors fleeing intimate domestic violence in Tillamook County. The shelter is pet-friendly and pets will be housed with the families on-site. To screen for shelter space, call 503.842.9486 or toll-free 800.992.1679.
  3. Counseling
    Counseling services are free and available for all survivors in Tillamook County. Survivors do not need to be staying at the Pacific House Shelter or receiving advocacy services in order to access this service. They may have trauma from an earlier experience of domestic violence or sexual assault, or currently dealing with issues of power and control within the household.
  4. Support Groups
    Tides of Change offers three different support groups that are open to all survivors. They include the Intimate Partner Violence support group, Trauma Recovery and Empowerment support group, and A Window Between Worlds art group.  If you are interested in joining a group or would like to learn more, call 504-842-9486 or email Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Support Group is a virtual group for people who have experienced intimate partner violence. These meetings are held virtually on Tuesdays from 1pm-2:30pm.The Trauma Recovery and Empowerment (TREM) Group helps survivors develop skills to assist with life problems that might relate to past or current traumas. These meetings are held in-person on Thursdays from 10am-11:30am.

    A Window Between Two Worlds is offered for two age groups, teens or adults, and for survivors of trauma. Participants utilize art for self expression, connection, and healing alongside others. This support group is offered in-person.
  • How can I participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

Shine a light on survivors, donate, and learn how to respond when a survivor shares about their experience.

  1. Shine a Light Community Event:
    October 20th, 2022 is Purple Thursday, also known as National Domestic Violence Awareness Day. Tides of Change will be hosting an event from 4:30-6:30pm on the 2nd Street Plaza in Tillamook. There will be arts and crafts, community resources, glow sticks, and more.

    Throughout the month of October, we are shining a light for survivors by hanging purple string lights in our local businesses. You may also give a $5 donation to Tides of Change and receive an individual purple light bulb to shine in your window or porch to show your support for survivors in Tillamook County. All donations in exchange for a light bulb go towards the client’s assistance fund. These unrestricted funds are used for things that grants do not cover; an example is copay for medical bills.
  2. Donate
    You may donate cleaning items to Tides of Change to contribute to the Welcome Home Baskets. These baskets are given to survivors when they move into their own place when leaving the Pacific House Shelter. They will be collecting these items at the October 20th event.
  3. Respond
    Bundy, with Tides of Change, believes it is very important to learn how to respond supportively when someone discloses that they are experiencing domestic violence. She says to listen with compassion, and do your best to validate their story by affirming that you believe them, and they don’t deserve to be treated that way. Next, share available resources by presenting them as options. You may offer to go with them to Tides of Change, or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline together. However, Bundy emphasizes it is important not to tell a survivor what they have to or should do. They may not be ready for certain actions, and this could cause them to shut down or pull away from you, a safe person with whom they trust. Some resources you may share include Tides of Change in Tillamook County, or contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233 or texting START to 88788.


  • Where can I learn more about domestic violence?

To learn more about domestic violence, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website. Below are some linked articles to get started.

Warning Signs of Abuse

Understanding Relationship Abuse

Abuse in Immigrant Communities

Ways to Support Others

-Published October 4 2022